Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ta Ra Rum Pum DVD|
Actors: Victor Banerjee, Jaaved Jaaferi, Rani Mukherjee, Bharat Dabholkar, Saif Ali Khan
Director: Siddharth Raj Anand
Genres: Indie & Art House, Sports
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"Go win, cabby!"
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 07/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I get my wish. TARA RUM PUM offers the re-teaming of Hum Tum DVD 2004 alumni Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji. Along the way, the city of New York receives the lively Bollywood treatment. Khan and Mukerji are two of the best actors in India right now and it's a treat to again see them playing off each other so well. Director Siddharth Anand, who also helmed the vastly entertaining Salaam | Namaste (2 Disc Set) (another Saif Ali Khan vehicle, co-starring Preity Zinta), delivers the goods here as we are treated to a resilient and lovely family struggling under great duress, but a family whom I greatly wish were my neighbors.
Plot SPOILERS begin:
This time, Saif Ali Khan plays Rajveer Singh, a lowly pit crew tire changer who dreams of being a race car driver. One auspicious New York day, Rajveer inadvertently impresses a racing team manager with his driving skills AND bumps into (but then loses) the love of his life. Rajveer ends up being hired as the new driver for the downtrodden Speeding Saddles team. Finding the girl again proves to be more problematic. But Rajveer and the girl do meet again, and in that very same night. Her name is Radhika (Rani Mukerji), a pianist and daughter of a wealthy businessman. As Radhika and Rajveer (or RV, which is deemed a catchier name) fall in love, Rajveer's racing career skyrockets and, shortly, he becomes the nation's top car racer.
Even though her father predicts doom and gloom for her relationship with RV, Radhika marries him. Years elapse, and she gives birth to two beautiful children, Priya (aka "Princess") and Ranveer (aka "Champ"). Life is beautiful for the Singh family, but, then, tragedy strikes when RV has a grievous racing accident, which takes him out of competition for a year. Upon his return to the sport, it's quickly evident that RV has lost something (courage?). After several losses in a row, RV is let go by Speeding Saddles, which ruins him financially. He's forced to auction off his house and belongings and move his family into the slum tenements of Cabby Alley. Wishing not to burden their children, RV and Radhika tell them that they're competing in a reality show called "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and that their move to Cabby Alley and their state of poorness are merely temporary. Thus, Radhika takes up playing the keys at restaurants and birthday parties, while RJ picks up whatever menial jobs he's able to. But, as the bills mount and things become even more desperate, how long can RV and Radhika keep up the facade?
It is absolutely the oh-so-compatible pairing of Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji which makes the movie work (only Preity Zinta seems to have better chemistry with Saif). They make perfect foils for each other as Saif's casual, off-the-cuff charm naturally balances Rani's poised approach. Their characters, when together, present that ideal fusion in which individual flaws (RV's flighty, fun loving nature & Rani's too focused practicality) actually become strengths. Saif is able to use his imagination to endlessly lighten their grim situation. Radhika is the rock, steadfast and devoted, to her husband and children. These are good parents.
TARA RUM PUM becomes instantly ingratiating as, early on, a child's voice begins her film narration ("I love papa and his bad habits."), and the flashbacks begin. Pretty much every character in this film is likable, with the exceptions of the sneering Rusty Finkelstein and the nasty Speeding Saddles owner. I've mentioned Saif and Rani ad nauseam, we know how good they are. But Jaaved Jaffrey (the Crocodile Dundee Hindi in SALAAM NAMASTE) also makes a mark as Harry, Saif's manager and friend. Meanwhile, the kids are cute, deliver solid performances, and don't get in the way.
Sensing that I'd enjoy this movie, naturally, I purchased the handsome 2 dvd set. Disc one has the feature film. Disc 2 doesn't have English sub-titles but does contain the following: the 21-minutes-long "Making Of" feature; a "Making of the Animated Song" featurette; almost 3 minutes of outtakes; 46 seconds deleted from the melodic title song; 16 minutes of deleted scenes, which are worth viewing as they do serve to fill in and round out several moments in the film (why the kids sleep in the hammocks, the intro of the Cabby Alley folks, Radhika and RV doing accounts in his cab, etc.); and the theatrical and TV promos. The dvd package also comes with a "Family Photo Frame" in which you can stick on pictures of your family. Overall, not bad special features. And the cast and crew converse in enough English that you do get a sense of what's going on, even if you don't speak Hindi (like me).
TARA RUM PUM tells of the lengths parents will go thru to shield their children from the harshness of the real world. But it also tells of the sacrifices children will make for their parents. The movie's not as hokey as you'd think, thanks mostly to the quality of the acting and, by extension, the directing. Rani and Saif know when to restrain themselves while presenting a certain level of sincerity. Thus, when the dam finally breaks and tears trickle and the arguments and accusations fly, they are all the more effective. And, yes, there's crying and arguing. Had to happen, they're only human. But, still, in this family's unflagging attempts to cope and overcome and to maintain cheerful, positive dispositions in the face of all the ever piling on of crap, the film becomes an engaging celebration of life. With effectively shot racing sequences, mostly upbeat songs (including a live action/animated number, wherein Bollywood, so ingrained in its traditions, doesn't even allow CG bears to innocently kiss), a certain contemporary feel (I mean, it is New York), TARA RUM PUM ends up being an endearing family feature with a hopeful message to impart. I've said this before, here it is again: Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji need to team up...again. And again. And again. And then maybe one more."